How To Collaborate with Flex@Tech

Industry/University/Government Collaboration Methodologies

Innovations that solve societal problems and lead to positive economic impacts often result from collaboration between research-intensive universities and external partners. Therefore, the impact of innovation ecosystems, where invention, insight and translations of ideas to products which happen through a systematic collective outcome of companies, non-profits, government agencies, educational and research institutions working together, is unparalleled.

Industry Engagement Modes and Methods

The Flex@Tech vision is to enable a global ecosystem beginning with the co-design of chips,packages, and systems that also includes advances in materials, processes, substrates, sensors, through to the assembly, interconnect, encapsulation, and testing of flexible electronics, which engages industry, academia, and government agencies during the performance of basic research through to the realization of new products which incorporate new or incremental discoveries. Towards this goal, the Flex@Tech industry engagement model consists of a multi-level, tiered-value proposition for industry participation with Georgia Tech academic and research faculty, programs and centers.

  • Partnering Via the Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute

In August 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded the FlexTech Alliance a Cooperative Agreement to establish and manage a Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE MII). The award is for $75 million in federal funding over a five-year period and is being matched by more than $96 million in cost sharing from non-federal sources, including the City of San Jose, private companies, universities, several U.S. states, and not-for-profit organizations. FlexTech Alliance’s winning proposal results in the first of seven MIIs to be headquartered on the West Coast. The DoD’s Manufacturing Technology Program Office (ManTech) oversees the MIIs. Georgia Tech is a founding member of the FHEMII

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  • Partnering Via the Research Contract Continuum

At Georgia Tech, investing in research is a top priority. As part of that commitment, the university has developed four contract mechanisms that enable industry to engage with Georgia Tech researchers at all stages of R&D. These agreements were carefully crafted to streamline the contracting process and provide straightforward intellectual property terms for companies engaging in collaborative research. The four contracting mechanisms are as follows: -

Basic Research: Explore fundamental challenges in a technical area
Applied Research: Identify solutions to real-world challenges
Demonstration: Improve an existing technology
Specialized Testing: Test new and existing products

For more information, FAQs, and other details pertaining to the Georgia Tech Contract Continuum, please visit our Industry Engagement site at




Explore fundamental challenges in a technical area As one of the nation’s top research universities, Georgia Tech is committed to conducting basic research that advances our fundamental understanding of the world. This form of research is typically driven by scientific questions that lay the foundation for technological progress.When Georgia Tech collaborates with industry via a Basic Research agreement, the industry partner has the opportunity to license the resulting intellectual property (IP). These early collaborations are often the foundation for new products that spur business growth for a company.



Identify solutions to real-world challenges
The Applied Research agreement enables Georgia Tech researchers to help industry partners explore the viability of a technology and overcome practical challenges. Under an Applied Research agreement, the company pays a defined fee to gain access to IP that is generated during the project. The company obtains rights for exclusive access to the IP for a specified period of time within a defined field of use. This enables industry partners to develop and launch a product with very low risk, gaining a first-mover advantage. After the exclusivity period is over, the company can 1) extend the exclusive rights or 2) convert to a non-exclusive license.Georgia Tech offers expertise and state-of-the-art equipment that can be leveraged in the final stages of development to test products and help a company ensure that they are market-ready.


Improve an existing technology
For industry partners working on product development, the Demonstration agreement enables Georgia Tech researchers to help a company improve existing technology. The Demonstration agreement offers a straightforward and advantageous intellectual property policy for industry partners.Simply put, when a company introduces background IP under a Demonstration project, the company shall have exclusive rights to any improvements at no additional cost. For companies that have licensed a Georgia Tech innovation, any improvements to the licensed IP shall be incorporated into the terms and conditions of the original licensing agreement.


Test new and existing products
The Specialized Testing agreement provides a cost-effective and secure way for companies to access this equipment without making a large capital investment. This work is often instrumental in enabling a successful product launch.The Specialized Testing agreement also offers a straightforward intellectual property policy for industry partners. The sponsoring company will own all test results.

  • Partnering Via Research Membership



For collaboration information contact: 

Suresh K. Sitaraman

Professor of Mechanical Engineering
School of Mechanical Engineering
Phone: 404.894.1880

Fax: 404.894.9846


Dean A. Sutter

Associate Director
Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology
Phone: 404.894.3847